SRI NAGAR: Nearly eight months after militants abducted and killed Rifleman Aurangzeb in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the Army is quizzing three-four soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles involved in counter-insurgency operations in the Valley for allegedly passing off information about his movement to insurgents. Defence sources said after the abduction and killing of Aurangzeb by terrorists on June 14, 2018, the Army ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to probe his killing as it suspected that an insider was involved in passing off information about Aurangzeb’s movement to the militants.
They said during the investigation, Army officials zeroed-in on three-four soldiers, all of whom hail from south Kashmir, for helping the militants by passing on information about Aurangzeb.
According to sources, the Rashtriya Rifles soldiers are being quizzed by Army officials to know the extent of their involvement in Aurangzeb’s murder. Sources said the Army men have not been detained but stationed in the camp close to the place where the Presiding Officer of the inquiry is stationed. “They have been kept there to facilitate investigation in the case,” they said.
Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said details were being ascertained.
Aurangzeb had participated in almost all the anti-militancy operations in militancy infested districts of Pulwama and Shopian in the last few years. According to Defence sources, he was a key player in the anti-militancy operations and also participated in operations in which top Hizbul Mujahideen commanders Sameer Paddar and Saleem Tiger were killed. Police has blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen for the murder of Aurangzeb, who was conferred the Shaurya Chakra – the third-highest peacetime gallantry award – posthumously on Independence Day in 2018.
Murder most foul
Aurangzeb, who was hailing from Poonch district of Jammu region, had gone on leave for Eid on June 14, 2018. He had taken lift from a private vehicle (Santro) outside his army camp in Shopian. The vehicle, however, was intercepted by militants at Kalampora village of Pulwama, few kilometres from army camp. The militants, who had information about his movement, abducted him and shot him in his head and neck.